Skip to Content

Minecraft Lava

Dec value: Source: 11; Flowing: 10
Hex value: Source: A; Flowing: B
Minimum tool requirement to break: None
Blast resistance: Source: 500; Flowing: 0
Maximum stack 64 Transparency: Yes

Lava is the most dangerous and probably most hated block in minecraft, and one of the leading causes of death and frustration. Lava occurs mostly underground in the Overworld, but can also be found on and above the surface in the form of pools and lava falls. It can also be found in blacksmith houses in villages. Lava is found everywhere in the Nether, both as massive pools and large lava falls flowing from even the ceilings.


Lava is a fluid block, which means it will spread out untill it’s thin enough. Lava will always start to flow from a lava source block, but blocking the source block will not cause the remaining lava to dissapear, like water. Instead, most of the lava will simply remain in position and can still spread when blocks are placed under it.

Especially the upward spread can be disastrous in forests, as leaves burn faster than other flammable objects. Large forests can easily turn into a sea of flames, which can cause enormous lag on slower computers.

Lava will always flow towards the closest lower block, if none are available, lava will simply spread in all directions. In the Overworld, lava will spread 4 blocks. In the Nether, lava will spread 8 blocks far, like water in the Overworld. Redstone dust can be used to change the flow of lava because it updates the block (from on to off). But like lava under normal conditions, this lava will flow to the closest lower block. This trick can be used to create various traps, covered in our lava traps section, here.

Lava will burn any flammable blocks that are directly next to it, 1 block under it and up to 4 blocks above it. Anything thrown into lava will be destroyed. this is often used as an advantage by players who want to get rid of items. If a player or most monster fall in lava, 5 hearts of damage will be done every second, on top of the half a heart of damage you get from being on fire. This will quickly lead to the death and destruction of the player and all the carried items. Playing on peaceful will not save you from this death.

Obtaining Lava

Although lava blocks cannot be aquired without the use of mods, lava source blocks can be picked up with a bucket. Lava buckets can be used in a lot of ways, like pvp, terra forming and farms.

Water and Lava

When water flows over a lava source, the lava will be turned into obsidian, if it flows over flowing lava, the lava will be turned into cobblestone. Stone can also be created, which happens when lava flows over water, both source blocks as flowing water.

Lava Survival

There are several tricks you can use to prevent yourself from falling in lava or to save you when you do fall in lava. The most important thing to do is to never dig down. You’ll have probably heard this a lot, which only proves how important this rule is. Digging down leaves you vulnarable to falling down into deep holes or straight into lava. You’ll have no chance to survive if you do happen to fall in lava this way.

Lava blocks can often be seen and heard before you see the actual lava block. Lava makes a popping sound, which acts as an early warning to any player getting close. Small embers will also pop out of the lava, which can fall over the sides of the lava block, though the lava block is often seen as well, when you’re on a lower angle, these embers can work as a small beacon.

A last early warning are small droplets that fall through the block directly under the lava block. This means there is absolutely no reason a player should die from digging up. Any player who does die is simply not paying enough attention. If you encounter lava and think you might fall in, place water from a bucket around the lava. The water will turn lava source blocks into obsidian and flowing lava into cobblestone, effectively paving the way to safety.

A water bucket can also save you when you do fall in lava. Place the water directly above you to extinguish both you and the lava. This does require you to be fast due to the high amounts of damage lava does, but it’s always nice to have this as a back up to save yourself and your items.

Lava as a Trap

Because a lava source block can be picked up with a bucket, lava can serve as an extremely powerful and effective weapon. It’s extremely easy to lure hostile monsters towards you. Placing and picking up the lava when they get close allows you to set them on fire, while keeping the lava and prevent the lava from spreading on the floor. Note that Nether mobs are immune to lava, using it againt them will only slow them down. This trick is often used by players on PvP servers, who will often hide the bucket on their hotbar, only taking it out when an unsuspecting player gets close. The slowing effect of lava makes this trick all the more effective, but players aware of this trick will often cary a water bucket to prevent and disable your lava. Some may even drink a fire resistance potion before the fight, just to be on the safe side.

Arrows can be shot through lava and will be set on fire, but these will not do any extra damage, nor will they set other blocks or mobs on fire. Lava can thus be used to hide behind when you sneak. A well timed and aimed shot will both surprise and set fire to your opponent. Drinking a fire resistance potion yourself is highly recommended when fighting players. Both to prevent yourself from (accidently) touching your own lava, and to protect yourself from players who try to use the same trick on you.

Terraforming with Lava

Lava can be a useful tool to terraform with, especially creating large towers or big mountains can be created with a single bucket of lava and a bucket of water. Simply build a pillar, drop the lava on it, wait for it to flow down, then put it all out using the water bucket. Repeat this step untill the desired height and thickness.

Lava as a Fuel

Lava buckets are the best fuel in game, allowing for 100 items be cooked or smelted with a single bucket of lava. However, the bucket will be lost in the process.

Damage Control

Lava will contain the destructive force of explosives, this can be useful to create both a defence against tnt, as well as a border against players and mobs, especially creepers.

Flowing Lava

Flowing lava is a seperate block, which, like normal lava blocks, can only be obtained through mods and codes. Alhough different, they act the same when placed by a player.